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California Propositions: Background

Background

Since 1911, California has allowed ordinary citizens to create statutory and constitutional law via initiatives, referenda, and recall elections, in addition to the previously existing mechanism for popular voting on initiatives sponsored by the Legislature. This guide will point you to major sources for researching the text, status, legislative history, electoral results, and post-election disposition of such measures.

Types of Initiatives

Before beginning research on ballot initiatives, you should have a basic understanding of the types of propositions that may appear on a ballot and processes involved with each:

More background reading:

Daniel Martin, Henke's California Law Guide (8th ed. 2008) - pages 141-48 (in print: KFC74 .H46 2006)

L. Tobe Liebert, Researching California Ballot Measures, 90 Law Libr. J. 27 (1998) - online version via Hein Online (on-campus or proxy server access required)

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